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Death Toll From Mass Shootings On the Rise in America

Death Toll From Mass Shootings On the Rise in America

 government-funded research project released on Friday sheds new light on the upward trend of mass shootings in the United States, finding that the number of Americans dying from mass shooters is on the rise, and most people who commit such acts of violence have a history of trauma or were in a state of crisis.

The Violence Project, funded by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, examined 172 mass shootings -defined as killing four or more people – dating back more than 50 years.

Researchers analyzed data on mass shootings using a publicly-available database, which draws from open source material such as social media and newspapers. The Justice Department unveiled some of the study’s highlights the day after President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland met with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to call for greater investments in local police to combat a recent rise in gun violence. The study found that of all the mass shootings that took place between 1966 and 2019, more than half took place since 2000, with 20% of them occurring between 2010 and 2019. In the last five years of the study period, an average of 51 people died from mass shootings per year, compared with only eight people in the 1970s.

An analysis of some of the data by the National Institute of Justice found that suicidal intention is a “strong predictor” for mass shooting perpetrators, and that 31% of the people who committed mass shootings had experienced childhood trauma while 80% were “in crisis.”

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A large percentage of the shooters – 48% – also took steps to leak their plans in advance to family, friends, law enforcement, or strangers, the study found.

Find out more at the Violence Project.

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